Ninth Italian FREMM frigate launched

The Italian Navy’s ninth FREMM frigate
The Italian Navy’s ninth FREMM frigate, Spartaco Schergat, is pictured at its launching ceremony, alongside the navy’s last-in-class FREMM Emilio Bianchi. (Fincantieri)

The Italian Navy’s (ITN’s) ninth Bergamini-class FREMM multi-mission frigate was launched in late November, shipbuilder Fincantieri has revealed.

The ITN’s FREMM fleet will number 10 ships in total. The ships are being delivered within an Italy/France multinational FREMM programme, under the co-ordination of the Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation (OCCAR).

Ship nine Spartaco Schergat was launched at Fincantieri’s Riva Trigoso shipyard in Genoa, northern Italy, in a ceremony attended by senior ITN, OCCAR, Italian defence ministry, and industrial officials. The attendees included Admiral Giuseppe Berutti Bergotto (the ITN’s Deputy Chief of Staff), General Joachim Sucker (OCCAR’s Director), and Vice Admiral Giuseppe Abbamonte (Director of the General Directorate of Naval Armaments [NAVARM]).

Spartaco Schergat’s delivery to the ITN is scheduled for 2025. Between now and then, the ship will undergo outfitting activities at Fincantieri’s Muggiano shipyard in La Spezia, northern Italy, Fincantieri said in a statement.

The ITN’s FREMM frigates displace 6,700 tonnes at full load, are 144 m long, and have a top speed in excess of 27 kt. Maximum accommodation capacity onboard is 200 people.

FREMM frigates have been delivered to the ITN since 2012, when lead ship ITS Carlo Bergamini arrived. Eighth-in-class ITS Antonio Marceglia arrived in 2019.

In its statement, Fincantieri said the new ship “will feature a high degree of operational flexibility and will have the ability to operate in all tactical situations”. Spartaco Schergat is the first of two ITN FREMMs that will bring a combined capability focus on general purpose (GP) and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations. The other ship combining GP and ASW capabilities – last-in-class ship 10, Emilio Bianchi – was laid down in October 2021, and is also scheduled for commissioning in 2025.

The ITN FREMMs’ ASW capability includes a Thales CAPTAS 4/UMS 4249 combined low-frequency active variable depth sonar (VDS)/passive towed array sonar capability. This ASW capability is fitted to the ITN’s FREMM ships two to five, as well as nine and 10.

by Dr. Lee Willett